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Forum Post of the Day: Dalaran Classified Ads - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST
Crawford of Gorefiend posted a pretty amusing post recently on the official forums: Dalaran Classified Ads. The post lists a variety of help wanted, services offered, and even personals ads from various personalities around Azeroth. There's some pretty amusing ones in the mix.

Inspired, I thought I'd come up with one or two myself:

HELP WANTED: Day Laborers for bridge construction. Must bring own tools, or recover stolen tools from Murlocs. Payment is 2 armor patches a week plus all the Sauteed Sunfish you can eat. Work hours very flexible. Contact Oslow at Lakeshire, Redridge. Projected completion time TBA.

It's not that great, admittedly, but hey. For some real good ones, check out the post.

Forum Post of the Day: Dalaran Classified Ads originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Lore of Ulduar - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


One of the things I really love about Ulduar is how interconnected it is to the lore of older Azerothian instances and new Wrath content like the Storm Peaks. (I have no idea who that mermaid is, though.) If you ran Uldaman back in the day, or even as you leveled characters more recently, you got to see a smashed, ruined installation of the Titans with lore characters like Ironaya and Archaedas (both of whom even have nice little shout outs in the Ulduar-10 loot table) and got a nice dose of the backstory for the creation of Azeroth. I think it was my lovely and talented wife who pointed out that Ulduar references lore from Ashenvale (the Master's Glaive), the Badlands (Uldaman itself), even Ahn'Qiraj and all of that lore is not just evident in the massive construction of Ulduar (you could even call it titanic, if you wanted a lot of people to groan at you) but in the sheer scale of bosses available. Only Naxxramas has more, and Ulduar has the edge in that several of its boss encounters have hard modes as well.

Ulduar also does a really excellent job of making you part of the lore of the place. If you leveled through the Storm Peaks, you most likely took part in the extended and rewarding quest chains that allowed you to interact with the Sons of Hodir, took part in the Hyldsmeet, and eventually raided the Halls of Lightning themselves to slay the Prime Designate himself. I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything, so suffice it to say that if you played through all of that content, you are directly responsible not only for the presence of one of the watchers within Ulduar itself, but for the potential upcoming end of the world. I find that to be rather motivating for going into the place, and they did a really excellent job of tying it all together.

Continue reading The Lore of Ulduar

The Lore of Ulduar originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fishing revamp is "on the books" - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST
While Blizzard's managed to do pretty well lately in adding quirks and surprises to make fishing more tolerable (or at least more desirable), the fact remains that it's still ultimately pretty boring to skill up and use altogether, and many people believe it's well overdue for a revamp.

It looks like Blizzard agrees, as Zarhym recently revealed that they plan to revamp it. Of course, he had no details or time frame, but that's par for the course for Blizzard.

As to how the revamp should go down, Insider Trader actually recently discussed some ideas. Myself, I'm in favor of the minigame approach. If Popcap can import Peggle, you have to figure it's possible to set up a pretty robust fishing mini-game in WoW. Of course, if all else fails, they could always just let us actually use a Goblin Fishing Pole.

Fishing revamp is "on the books" originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


Reader comments - ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine - ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

Continue reading [1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zarhym talks about the Isle of Conquest battleground - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST
So one of the things we have coming our way in patch 3.2 will be the new Isle of Conquest battleground. Unfortunately, we don't know much more about it than the name, but that has not stopped everyone from speculating on what it could bring, whether it be a combination of some of the old mechanics from previous battlegrounds (Much like Eye of the Storm was a combination of Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch) or completely new ideas. There's been hints it's more like Alterac Valley than other old battlegrounds, but for now, we're waiting impatiently for the PTR in the hopes of getting a real look.

Zarhym chimed in on one of these threads a couple days ago, and while he mostly told people they'd have to wait and see, one reply he did give suggests a sneak peek into what the battleground could be: "If "conquest" means the ability to catapult or parachute players behind enemy lines, then yes."

Ok, so it's not much, but it's there. There will be Catapults, and we will be flinging players in them! I know one of my favorite things to do in Alterac Valley back when it lasted hours was to sneak behind enemy lines to capture objectives or gather Frostwolf Hides and the like. Of course, I could do this because I played a stealthing Druid. Non-stealthers generally did not have the ability to sneak past all the PCs and NPCs blocking their way. But the idea of sending paratrooping special forces in to complete small objectives or even just flank the enemy is just plain sort of cool, if it ends up working out like that.

Beyond that, Zarhym also hinted that the Battleground revamp is coming along, but of course, once again, he had no information to offer. Will we see it in Patch 3.2? Hopefully, the PTR will come up soon and we'll know more for sure.

Zarhym talks about the Isle of Conquest battleground originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Compensating for something? - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Ahinawee of <Cue Ominous Music> on Skywall has some strange habits. "While posing for our guild's first kill of Thorim, I noticed that he had a pretty short skirt," he writes. "With some weird curiousity, I started to tilt the camera up. You can see the result on the screenshot. Maybe we now know why Sif left him."

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Compensating for something? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: No more rubber gloves - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST
Today, the rubber gloves come off. Or rather, they are not being put on again. The list is a good one, full of jokes you need to read because I say recommend so.

Sunday Morning Funnies: No more rubber gloves originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Have you ever actually met a GM in-game? - Sun, 07 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST


One of the things which captivated me when I first started playing WoW were the whispered myths surrounding GMs. Being that this was my first proper foray into the magical and mysterious world of online gaming I had no real idea of what exactly their strange beings where except that they were uber-powerful and acted as both peacekeepers on the forums and tech support in-game.

Over the years, I've submitted my fair share of tickets. Indeed once during the Wrath beta I and a bunch of other hapless explorers got trapped under Dalaran bank and I had to ask a GM to teleport them out (being a druid I just teleported to Moonglade -- after twenty minutes of waiting for my hearthstone to cooldown and them remembering I had an escape route). However in all my dealings with them in-game I've never actually met a GM in-game (on the other hand I've met a bunch in real life). So I want to know, readers, have you ever seen a GM with your own (virtual) eyes? Did they appear to you in that robe get up seen in the manual or as something a little more scary? Come on and spill the beans, I want to hear about all your fascinating GM encounters!

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever actually met a GM in-game? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 07 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MLG Columbus Day Two concludes - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:30:00 EST


The second day of competition at the Major League Gaming 2009 Pro Circuit has just wrapped up, with SK Gaming leading all teams with a 5-1 record followed closely by eMazing Gaming and Europe's Ensidia with identical 4-1 slates. The entire event was streamed live through MLG's site, as well as GotFrag and MMO Champion, and if you missed them there are short recaps of the matches over at GotFrag, as well as a brief match overview. The Arena Tournament uses a best-of-five format where no maps are played twice, which is a great concession to the fact that some team comps play better in particular maps.

Over $15,000 are at stake in the tournament, with the first place winner taking home $9,000. It's been an exciting two days so far, and even though the Rogue/Mage/Priest comp continues to exert its dominance in the format, the current environment has also opened up to relatively newer comps such as Rogue/Warlock/Shaman and Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Day three will see which team comes out on top and takes home the prize, with the rest of the matches in this roundrobin tournament streamed live tomorrow at 9am EST.

MLG Columbus Day Two concludes originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Gladiator Ninchuu is one of the new breed of Hunters doing battle with success in the last two seasons. While Burning Crusades could be considered a dark time for the class, confining the masters of ranged weapons to the slow, highly technical "drain team," Wrath of the Lich King has introduced several different interesting possibilities for the Hunter.

Ninchuu took the time to talk with us about the Hunter class, how they relate to other classes, and how he conducts his time in the Arena. He's got some especially great tips about how Arena hopefuls should be aware of their mindset when stepping foot in the virtual squared circle.

Continue reading The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter

The Colosseum: Ninchuu the Hunter originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All the World's a Stage: The inside layer - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


This installment of All the World's a Stage continues the discussion about the layers of roleplaying, still taking a break from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions. Last week, we looked at how to interact with strangers in roleplaying environments, on "the surface layer."

So there you are -- you've got a character who is gregarious and gets into roleplaying groups relatively easily. Your character's way of interacting with others makes it easy for other people to recognize you as a roleplayer, and even encourages them to come out and roleplay with you, even if they're not that much into roleplaying themselves. You've followed some good advice about finding roleplayers -- maybe even joined an RP guild -- and you're meeting characters you think are interesting, and you really hope they think your character is interesting too.

But then something goes wrong and you feel that special RP feeling start slipping away. The people in your guild stop talking to you as much -- sometimes the whole guild atmosphere seems to go quiet and dull, and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get the actual spirit of roleplaying flowing again. You start to think maybe your interesting character quirks aren't all that good after all. You keep trying to think of new ones, but no matter how funny your accent or entertaining your antics, people just aren't getting into it like they used to.

The problem here isn't actually you -- it's an assumption that many roleplayers, even experienced ones, sometimes have when they are in new roleplaying situations. We take the burden of creating a roleplaying atmosphere too heavily upon ourselves, when actually what we need to do is not create the atmosphere, but nurture it. Questions are the key here -- if your character has a genuine interest in other people then he or she will be able to draw out the spirit of roleplaying in them, get them talking about themselves, and start having interesting interactions together.

Continue reading All the World's a Stage: The inside layer

All the World's a Stage: The inside layer originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST



Each week Arcane Brilliance chats a bit about Mages and all things Mage-related. You may wonder what Arcane Brilliance likes to discuss the rest of the week. Even if you don't wonder that, Arcane Brilliance is going to tell you: It's still Mages. Yes, Arcane Brilliance pretty much talks about Mages constantly, even when it is wildly inappropriate to do so: at the dinner table...during business meetings...in church...at funerals...off-topic on completely unrelated message boards...Arcane Brilliance doesn't get invited to very many parties, in case you were curious.

When people see me in public, they often ask me, "Christian, how can I get my Mage hit capped?" It's probably the most common question I get, right up there with "Why are you so awesome?" and "Where are your pants?"

Okay, that's a lie. Nobody ever approaches me in public, and nobody asks me any of those questions, except for maybe the one about the location of my pants. That's a whole other story, and my attorney has advised me not to speak of it. Still, reaching the hit cap is something every Mage should be striving toward, but far too many of us either don't realize how important it is, or don't know enough about how to get there effectively. Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to explain the mysteries of the hit cap to you. The good news? It isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

Continue reading Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap

Arcane Brilliance: Reaching the hit cap originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Addon Spotlight: Postal - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

Addon Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your Addons folder, we'll cover it here.

I find it hard to believe we haven't featured this mod before, so I guess it's about time. Postal is your mailbox's best friend.

  • Your To: field now has a contact list, and will auto-complete all your alts automatically, as well as people you've mailed recently.
  • Last name mailed is automatically filled in; great for sending multiple messages to the same person (or if you are constantly mailing stuff to your AH alt, like me).
  • Shift-click to take items/money from mail, control-click to return mail, alt-click to add something from your inventory to the current mail.
  • "Open all" button (you can also choose to just open all AH mail, etc.)
  • Checkboxes to selectively open/return multiple messages at once.
  • Shows a summary of money gained after "open all" is done.
  • Automatically fill in subject fields when sending money or items, if you leave the subject blank.

Some of these, especially "open all," are so essential they should really be default features. This is all configurable, as well, so if you don't like any of Postal's features, you can easily turn them off.

The mailbox becomes a much more pleasant experience once you have Postal installed. It's a convenience on other characters, but on my bank/AH alt, it's pretty much a necessity. Individually clicking to open, then clicking to take the money/items from each of thirty AH mails gets tedious fast. One click instead of sixty? I'll take it.

Download Postal at Curse

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. Let Power Auras Classic show you what you need to know with pretty glowing pictures. See what recipes you don't know with Ackis Recipe List. And remember, Addon Spotlight is fueled by viewers like you, so if you have a mod you think we should take a look at, drop us a line.

Addon Spotlight: Postal originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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An interview with a scammer - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST

Recently, I wrote about a scam involving selling Spectral Tiger Mounts, but I never thought I would be able to actually interview the guy responsible. Luckily, this particular scammer was willing to discuss the scam candidly with my husband and I. He ended being very like a Ferengi in his attitude toward what he calls "business". Here is the story.

Late last night, The Spousal Unit saw someone spamming Trade Chat, supposedly offering a Spectral Tiger Mount for sale. Since he knew two people that had been scammed by this, he called the seller a scammer in Trade Chat. The scammer sent him a tell and they proceeded to debate the issue in whispers. TSU called me over to show me the conversation, so of course I had to log on and pursue the interview further. Following are both interviews, copied over from in-game whispers.

Continue reading An interview with a scammer

An interview with a scammer originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The real new Night Elf cat forms - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST


You have probably seen the new Night Elf cat forms by now, the last of the four feral forms that are going to be revamped in patch 3.2. Reaction to them has been mixed; many players love them, while many think they leave something to be desired in the ferocity department. As our newest columnist Eddie put it, "You have to love the little 'bells' on the colors. Just like a nice little kitty cat." I fall on this side as well - they look more delightful than dangerous.

Evidently Anik of Rexxar agrees with me and Eddie, because he was inspired to make the above image showing the logical extension of the direction the cat forms seem to be taking. What gets me is how little editing really needed to be done - they really look like that already, for the most part.

Of course, several of our writers are extra-excited about these newest forms; Zach and Manda both promise that they are rolling druids just to get access to them. Sailer Moon Cosplay Cat and Scene Kid Cat are their picks, in case you were wondering.

The real new Night Elf cat forms originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST
Our podcast is back yet again this afternoon, and it's sure to be a good one. Turpster and I will welcome our bloggers Lesley Smith and Robin Torres on to talk about the biggest news in WoW from the last week: we'll touch on the new Druid forms and what we all think of those, 3.1.3 and how it's worked out so far, players with amazing achievements in game (like the level 1-80 no deaths guy, and Ensidia's big finish), and scams you might want to look out for ingame. And if we have time, we'll talk about one of the stranger stories to come out of the WoW community lately.

The show begins over on the our Ustream page at June 6, 2009 3:30 PM EDT , or you can jump after the break to see an embedded feed. We'll also answer your email, which you can send to us at theshow@wow.com, and as usual we'll be chatting live both during and after the show. Should be a lot of fun -- we'll see you this afternoon!

Continue reading WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: The Sith lord - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST


Hey, I can't wait for The Old Republic either, but this might be going too far. Demonicwiz of <No Bull> on Eonar showed his commitment to the Dark Side by enchanting his Argent Avenger with Demonslaying, creating a red lightsaber. He then added a hood and robe to complete his ensemble. Now if only we could make a double-bladed purple saber ....

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: The Sith lord originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRUP: Garage inferno edition - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST

Once again, a weekend has appeared over the horizon. And how is the WoW.com staff going to spend it? Those of us who haven't collapsed with exhaustion from E3 seem to be running all over Azeroth, with approximately 70% less Ulduar than in weeks past. Of course, the excitement doesn't let up - Alex's garage decided to have its own version of the Ignis fight, I think. You can see the result to the right.

Alex Ziebart: I'm going to playing a sweet game called 'oh my god my poor garage.'

Elizabeth Harper: I'm officially not going to be here.

Eliah Hecht: I'll probably be playing my baby shaman. Must get to 30 and Windfury. Flametongue is just not cutting it. That is, unless my girlfriend waylays me again and forces me to play Mario Kart Wii all weekend. I don't know why she likes getting defeated so much.

More after the break.

Continue reading WRUP: Garage inferno edition

WRUP: Garage inferno edition originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Cross-character consistency - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

Most of us probably have alts at this point. On my main server, I have a character of each class (and besides the shaman and the mage, they're all at least level 40). And all of them that have leveled past Feralas have a Sprite Darter Hatchling to love and call their own. I like keeping at least something constant across all the different classes.

I've met people who use consistent naming schemes, which is helpful because it makes it easier to tell which alts go with which mains. I've met people that get the same color shirt on all their alts, although it's hard to see under all that armor. Some people like to take the same leveling path every time (like me), some people like to shake it up.

I even know someone who's leveled the same class to 80 several times - Warrior no less. But Rossi is widely considered to be crazy.

If you have alts, is there anything you always do the same way across all of them?

Breakfast Topic: Cross-character consistency originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gentlemens Club achieves Herald of the Titans world first (Edited) - Sat, 06 Jun 2009 00:30:00 EST
Via Guildox, we've just gotten word that Gentlemens Club of Korgath-US, Hordeside, has just become the world-first achievers of Herald of the Titans. This achievement requires that you defeat Algalon on 10-man difficult with no gear above iLevel 226. In other words, they were not wearing a single piece of Hard-mode Ulduar 25-man gear (While we haven't looked closely at their armory, the achievement would allow for normal mode 25-man gear, though even normal mode 25-man weapons would be off limits). [EDIT: iLevel 226 is actually the item level of gear from Normal mode 25-man Ulduar, not Hard mode as previously stated. It is also the item level of gear that drops from Heroic or 25-man Malygos, Kel'thuzad, and Sartharion with at least 2 drakes up. Hard mode 10-man Ulduar also drop iLevel 226 items, which indicates that the Achievement is intended mostly for 10-man progression.]

While 10-man and 25-man raids were technically meant to be seperate tiers of progression, it seems like many raiders freely mix the two, and while that's certainly to be expected, and there's nothing wrong with it, it's cool to see at least a few guilds focus on mastering that path of progression and arguably challenging themselves to at least the 10-man Algalon fight as Blizzard meant it to be fought.

In short, they've managed to proclaim themselves Kings of the 10-man game in Patch 3.1, even if other guilds technically beat them to 10-man Algalon kill itself. Congratulations to everyone involved in the raid!

Gentlemens Club achieves Herald of the Titans world first (Edited) originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 00:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Ironmender - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST


Here's an offhand, one that works pretty well for Priests.

Name: Ironmender (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Off-hand
Damage/Speed: N/A
Abilities:
  • +54 Stamina, +47 Intellect, +45 Spirit
  • Improves haste rating by 36 and spell power by 74.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Ironmender

Phat Loot Phriday: Ironmender originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Armory Light updated, renamed "Armory Heavy" - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST

Armory alternative Armory Light (not to be confused with Armory Lite) has just passed its first birthday, and to celebrate, the site is relaunching with a bevy of new features.

  • Pages for each item, with information on where it comes from, what it disenchants into, and how to link it in game. All the same info from the official Armory, basically.
  • 3D models for some items. Not as good as Wowhead's, but nice if you're already on the site, I guess.
  • A desktop app, built in Adobe Air (and hence cross-platform) to show 3D models of items. Not really sure what the point of this is, but somebody probably likes it.
  • Heirloom calculator: Now this is cool. It lets you take any heirloom item and see how its stats scale at any level. Not many sites have this.
  • A talent calculator. It's slow, jittery, and not particularly attractive, but they do have a talent calculator.
  • A "powered by Armory Light" JavaScript to include on your own site, which gives you not only item tooltips (which a few other sites do), but also character tooltips, like the one at right (an example character, not one of mine). Seriously cool. I can definitely see myself using this feature; it's a great way to get a thumbnail sketch of a character.

Continue reading Armory Light updated, renamed "Armory Heavy"

Armory Light updated, renamed "Armory Heavy" originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read excerpts from the winners of Blizzard's writing contest - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


Blizzard recently ran a global creative writing contest: write fan fiction set in any of the main three Blizzard universes (Diablo, Warcraft, or Starcraft - no Lost Vikings, apparently), submit it to Blizzard, and win fabulous prizes. The grand prize winner (one Andrew Moeller Sarah Pine) won a trip to Blizzard HQ to meet the devs, as well as a Frostmourne sword. Seven runners-up got signed novels and other lore paraphernalia.

The winners were announced back in May. So why am I bringing this up now? Well, Blizzard has posted excerpts from all eight winning stories on their web site. I have to say, aside from the overuse of adjectives and adverbs that tends to be endemic to fan fiction (write with nouns and verbs, people), this is some pretty enjoyable writing. I'd like to see the full stories; I wonder if they're going to be released at some point. Edit: To read the entire grand-prize-winning story by Sarah Pine, click here.

Read excerpts from the winners of Blizzard's writing contest originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST
Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

The World of Warcraft's second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, changed the way that we players, as tradespeople, view professions and altered the reasoning behind our choices to pursue them.

The driving factor behind this change was Blizzard's commitment to make each profession seem beneficial and dare I say, fun, to any player, regardless of class. While we did see some changes in this direction in The Burning Crusade, such as an Enchanter's singular ability to enchant his/her own rings, this new vision for trades really hit its stride in Wrath.

To accomplish this, Blizzard shifted focus away from bind on pick-up gear and added self-buffs and self-enchants, as well as some other incentives, to give players more choice.

It used to be, for example, that PvP characters would take Engineering. Leather and 40+ mail-wearers would take Skinning to feed their Leatherworking. Tailors would take Enchanting because it allowed them to recoup some of the costs of crafting gear, and so on.

In essence, we could choose between fun, PvP, gold-making, and the best gear. Now, we can purchase gear from the gear-crafters, and be free to pursue something else, should we wish.

Today, Insider Trader is going to break down the incentives offered by each profession to help you choose what is right for you. Rather than focusing on fun items, I will be addressing stat bonuses.

The purpose of this guide is not to tell you what you need to take in order to be the best raider, or make the most money, or have an edge in PvP, but rather to gather the information to one place and present it for your consideration.

Don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of this article, as there are sure to be tips and stories from our readers!

Continue reading Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs

Insider Trader: Your guide to profession-specific buffs originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2 - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
This week, Totem Talk covers the mail options for 25 man Ulduar, and also presents reader screenshots! Since I'm not raiding Horde-side as much right now (Malfurion, I miss you, especially the fine folks in the Consummate Vees, one heck of a good group of people) I've been using my Draenei shammy for the screens, and after many comments demanding the return of horde shamans, I finally threw down the gauntlet and dared the readers to provide them if they missed them so much.

Clearly, I had underestimaged your desire to see orcs, taurens and trolls back alongside this column. Well, far be it from me to stand in your way. Readers Chris Bell and Adam Brien both sent me good pictures of their orc shamans (this week we meet Adam's shaman) as did Claire Jones, whose tauren shaman will be featured after the cut just because I have a soft spot for tauren shamans. (Vishypants, you are remembered.) Now, don't take this to mean you'll never see a draenei screenshot here again, cause even if you don't like them I do. But if readers keep sending in those screenshots I guarantee some of them will make it to this column.

Heck, it saves me having to remember to take a screenshot, after all.

Continue reading Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2

Totem Talk: Ulduar non-set mail part 2 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Recent hotfixes: goodbye, BC dungeon chests - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST

Although it's no longer the first week after patch 3.1, when Ulduar nerfs and other hotfixes were coming almost as fast as we could post them, Blizzard is still fixing up the details here and there. Over the past week, a few hotfixes have gone in. Fortunately, as they have been doing recently, Blizzard has posted a nice list of what those changes are.

It's nothing too earth-shattering, as far as I can make out. Some creatures associated with the Yogg Saron fight should load faster. A few items have had their stats buffed (Earthshaper, Valorous Siegebreaker Shoulderplates, and Conqueror's Siegebreaker Shoulderplates), while Leviathan's Coil had its armor cut roughly in half. Clever DKs can no longer cut their RP costs with items meant to cut mana costs, and a bug involving Leviathan MK II's Self Repair on Mimiron was fixed.

Most recently, along with warrior buff shouts being made free again (as they should be) during preparation in arenas, Blizzard has seen the need to remove all non-boss chests in BC dungeons. They say this is "to resolve an exploit;" I assume it has something to do with people being able to farm chests too easily.

It is disappointing when fixes like this happen. On the one hand, it's "only" BC content, and chests aren't going to make or break a dungeon. On the other hand, those dungeons are deserted and useless enough as it is, and Blizzard keeps telling us they think there is still entertainment value in the old zones. Hopefully they get the chests fixed up eventually,

Recent hotfixes: goodbye, BC dungeon chests originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009 - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST

It's been some time since I last looked at the Top Lists on the official World of Warcraft site. I only thought to glance at it since I stumbled upon my own post about it from December of last year, when Loken reigned supreme as the most dangerous mob in the game. These days, Yogg-Saron's other minions have taken his crown from him. Interestingly, the most dangerous mob bounces back and forth between the first boss of Ulduar and one of the last bosses of Ulduar. Flame Leviathan is apparently far more deadly than I'd ever have expected, and either there are more players than I thought fighting General Vezax and Yogg-Saron, or the few guilds on those two bosses really like wiping. I guarantee that my raid added a thousand deaths to the Guardian of Yogg-Saron tally a few of those nights.

The correlation between Flame Leviathan being tops or Vezax being tops seems to be a matter of the day of the week. Monday night leading into Tuesday morning, Vezax and Yogg-Saron reign supreme. Wednesday and Thursday when everyone has a fresh Ulduar ID? Flame Leviathan is ahead significantly. Makes sense. 'Risen Ghoul' is consistently near the top, too. Nerf Death Knights plz k thx.

The most interesting stat of all of these this time around is certainly not most dangerous mob, though. No sir. The Most Completed Quests section is hilarious. You can see the effects of this past Tuesday's lengthy downtime for certain battlegroups. How can you tell? Well, the date of the data is when it was uploaded to the site. It's the data from the day prior, however. The data listed for Wednesday (which is what happened Tuesday)? There are no daily quests in the Most Completed like there usually is, no sir. It's the entire Death Knight starter quest chain. Yes, that's right, you can actually see how many people on North American realms rerolled throw-away Death Knights on different realms because their server was down. The very first quest, In Service of the Lich King, was completed 64,152 times.

Continue reading 70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009

70,000 Death Knights slaughtered in Great Server Downtime of 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Soul man - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Yesterday Alex featured Cab Calloway blasting out Minnie the Moocher, a song that while was around for a long time was truly made epic by his performance with the Blues Brothers. And this lets me tie in perfectly to wish my brother Logan a happy graduation from high school next week. Logan and many of his friends were in their jazz band, and he often dressed up as the Blues Brothers when appropriate. And in lieu of that, today's reading music is the Blues Brothers' "Soul Man" performance from the 1978 SNL season. The good old days. 5 years before I was born.

Hokiebuddy asked...

"With the revamp of the bear and cat forms for Druids will there be any more Druid revamps in design such as the travel, swimming, or flying forms? Also will this spill over into other races and classes i.e. Warlock and Paladin mounts, Warlock minions, Shadow Priest shadow form, etc..."

Continue reading The Queue: Soul man

The Queue: Soul man originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST


Reader UI of the Week is back! Each week WoW.com will bring you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@gmail.com.

After a bit of a break, Reader UI returns with a nice set-up from Kraayliis, a Death Knight on Azuremyst-US (view large). Here's what he had to say:

I've just been working on setting up a clean UI that still retains the look and feel of a full UI while still minimizing the amount of clutter on-screen. I'm currently running WoW @ 1920x1080 resolution. This is my first shot at designing a UI so I just wanted to toss this out there to see what people would think.

I started using Btex for the background a few weeks ago and couldn't find what I wanted so I decided to draw my own.

Continue reading Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst

Reader UI of the Week: Kraayliis of Azuremyst originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

Continue reading Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin XXXII - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST

Just when the world seemed dark and without hope, just when it seemed like there could be no victory, just when it seemed everything that's right and good about the world would be extinguished like a match between Arthas's forefinger and thumb . . . a hero arises. And that hero is Shepiwot.

How to paladin XXXII is the continuation of Shepiwot's How to paladin series, obviously. It's hard to define Shepiwot's genre exactly. He's created something entirely his own. It's not PvP video, obviously, and it's certainly not Belf Rap. But, ultimately, it is unique and without peer. But as I sit here, watching it over and over, like decyphering the Dead Sea Scrolls, I can tell you that it certainly is "How to paladin."

I will close with this simple comment. Holy crikey, I can't believe there are thirty one other installments in this series. Talk about a legacy! I look forward to "How to paladin XXXIII."

[Via WarcraftMovies.com]

WoW Moviewatch: How to paladin XXXII originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blizzard launches Ulduar Bosstiary - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST


Although this comes a little late for a few players, not everybody is raiding Ulduar yet, and those that are haven't necessarily cleared it. To help appease your curiosity about what creatures lurk within the latest raid, or if you simply want to know a bit about the background of the guys that have been handing you purples recently, check out Blizzard's latest web feature, the Bosstiary.

It's an interactive map of Ulduar (same graphics as the in-game map), and if you click on any of the boss icons, it pops up a little paragraph about the boss. For instance, did you know that Auriaya is Ulduar's archivist? Makes sense - librarians love cats. Also, apparently Kologarn was created by Ignis. I guess Iggy must have been a big Monty Python fan.

I think this is a neat way to learn a little more about the story behind the bosses. I hope they continue doing this for raids to come.

Blizzard launches Ulduar Bosstiary originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Around Azeroth: Cruising for a bruising - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST

Hey! You! Scarlet Crusade girl! Take a look over here. That's right. Look at what I did to your pal with my mighty wand. This small stick of cedar and glass will be the doom of all who inhabit this chapel. Look upon me and ... oh. That's kind of a big sword. A big, sharp sword. How can you even lift it? So anyway, I'm here to make a donation to your fine ministry. Would all my gold be sufficient? Okay, I'm just going to drop it on the floor and take off. I ... uh ... left my kitchen on fire. Have a nice day!

(Thanks to Anthony for the screenshot! He adds that his mage massacred the Scarlets while leveling his wand skill to 400.)

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.

Around Azeroth: Cruising for a bruising originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST


Doubtless Druids all around the world are still absorbing the new-look Night Elf cat form which was announced yesterday. We know Blizzard was going for something of a colour-coded approach, trying to match skins to that of their owners but what does it all mean? Well, blue Zarhym posted on the forums this morning and went into a little more detail.

It seems that rather than being able to go 'oh I'll have the white kitty with the cut pink gem on it's collar', that your form is actually linked to your toon's physical appearance. Yes, you can easily change how your bear or cat form will look but the only was to do this, in my understanding, is by visiting a barber shop and changing the skin tone (and/or hair) of your Druid in humanoid form.

Zarhym puts it better than I:

"Now that everyone has had a chance to check out the new art for druid cat and bear forms, we'd like to share with you the current break down of Tauren skin tones and Night Elf hair colors associated with each form color. Please note that, while we have attempted to associate each form color as carefully as possible, this list is subject to change before the next major content patch goes live. All options for skin tone (Tauren) and hair color (Night Elves) are listed below followed by the forms that will be associated with each set of tones/colors."

Click on the jump to see what your druid is going to look like.

Continue reading Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos

Zarhym explains Druid form colour combos originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breakfast Topic: Inexplicable dislikes - Fri, 05 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST

Last Monday, we did a breakfast topic on things you like in WoW that other people don't understand. Today, let's talk about the opposite: things you hate that other people don't get, or that maybe don't make any sense at all. You know - that thing that just irks you for no apparent reason.

As an example, I hate partially filling a talent, like going 3/5 in something. Can't stand it. I'm enough of a min/maxer that I'll still do it if I think it'll help my game appreciably, but when leveling (for instance) I'll go out of my way to avoid doing it.

I don't like Blacksmithing or Engineering, for some reason. I've tried them on several characters, and always ended up dropping them for another gathering skill. And it bothers me to no end that when you log out via /camp there's no way to skip the 20-second "you're not in an inn" timer (even at level 80), but there is when you log out via /quit.

So those are some of mine. What are you senselessly bothered by in WoW?

Breakfast Topic: Inexplicable dislikes originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 05 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST


There are a few accomplishments in this game that truly amaze me anymore. Leveling characters is routine now, and having an army of high level alts at your disposal isn't something super uncommon anymore. However I have been amazed by this:

Cautious, a Warrior, leveled to 80 without dying.

She had no deaths. None. Nada. Zilch.

There is no achievement for doing this, however I wouldn't blame Blizzard one bit if they went in and retroactively added one just for Cautious. Lord of the Rings Online has a no-death achievement, but only up through level 20. I got to level 18 without dying on LotRO on a recent attempt, however I perished when some "really really super awesome person" trained a bunch of mobs near me just as I executed an AoE attack. "Really really super awesome person" is what I called him too. Honest.

A few months ago in The Queue a reader asked if there would ever be (or is) such an achievement for WoW, and my response at the time was no, there is not one now and probably would not be one later. I reasoned that including such an achievement would just present undue psychological damage on the player if they died at 79 from an unforeseen circumstance. I still don't think there will be one, but it's pretty awesome someone managed to do it sans in-game achievement.

There are some interesting statistics Cautious had upon reaching level 80 without deaths. You can check out a lot of them on her armory profile, but those are inflated just a tad since she has played since reaching 80.

Some of her key stats upon reaching level 80 include:

Continue reading Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths

Achieved: Level 1 to 80 with no deaths originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST


A friend of mine recently got hit by a pretty devious phishing scam targeting wealthy (in-game) players looking to make legitimate purchases. My friend, we'll call him Cobra, was in a major city when an offer in the Trade Channel caught his eye. A player, we'll call him Bubbles, was offering a Spectral Tiger Mount for 5000 gold. Since this mount is only available as a code on a rare loot card, Cobra contacted Bubbles to inquire. Purchasing codes for in-game items with in-game cash is perfectly legitimate, according to Blizzard, so Cobra did not worry about going against the TOS with this transaction.

Bubbles, a level 78 Blood Elf Mage, seemed legitimate. For one thing, he was not a throwaway low level character. Also, he didn't want to take the cash then, but just see it in a trade window to make sure Cobra was in possession of it. So Cobra gave Bubbles his email address only and waited for the email that included the code and a link to where to input the information.

Continue reading Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts

Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's Two Bosses Enter is less boss-versus-boss than it is boss-versus-event: The Nexus' Anomalus versus the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone. The Tribunal of Ages event tasks adventurers with protecting Dwarven explorer Brann Bronzebeard from waves of mobs as part of the Halls of Stone quest -- a boss-level encounter in terms of difficulty and loot, if not in actual boss-versus-boss combat. It'll be Anomalus' Chaotic Rifts and Crazed Mana-Wraiths against the Tribunal of Ages' Kaddrak, Abedneum and Marnak plus the cadre of Dark Rune Protectors, Dark Rune Stormcallers and the Iron Golem Custodian.

The ground rules:
  • For the sake of this deathmatch, we'll have to get a little (ok, a lot) creative with Anomalus' presence here in the Tribunal. In this scenario, we'll retain the basic mechanic of the Tribunal of Ages encounter. Brann Bronzebeard's survival still determines the success or failure of the mission. Anomalus is therefore challenged with holding the Tribunal at bay long enough for Bronzebeard to complete his task.
  • This match takes place inside the Tribunal of Ages in the Halls of Stone.
  • If you assume that Anomalus is "too dumb to move," we'll have a very boring match indeed. Be open to other possibilities.
  • Assume that foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Style and scale are your main considerations.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages

Two Bosses Enter: Anomalus vs. Tribunal of Ages originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Queue: Minnie the Moocher - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I'm not much of a Jazz person, so when I set out to counter the John Coltrane that Adam used in The Queue yesterday, I was a little worried. Fortunately, while digging through my music collection to find something useful, I remembered that I had a trump card up my sleeves. Old Betty Boop cartoons, some of the most disturbing things you will ever see in your life. All of the best ones come packed with some incredibly old school Jazz. Now, some candy for your eyes and ears: Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher in a Betty Boop cartoon.

Docp asked...


"What happened to the Hunter column, Scattered Shots?"

I'm glad you asked! It just made its glorious comeback yesterday, with a brand new writer that some of you may recognize. Go give the latest Scattered Shots a read.

Continue reading The Queue: Minnie the Moocher

The Queue: Minnie the Moocher originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Quest: Forsooth and what not! - Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
Notice how we've linked Big Hit Box a lot this week? It's because they're producing great content for the community! If you're writing compelling content or come across a great site or blog post, please let us know!

The Daily Quest: Forsooth and what not! originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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